By TOM HONIG
Expect every meeting about water in the city of Santa Cruz to take on the look of a fight as opponents of desalination gear up to fight against any effort to plan for that extra source of water.
A meeting tonight (Monday) will be populated more than usual, especially by a group called Santa Cruz Desal Alternatives, which is pushing what it calls a "Plan B" for addressing water challenges. What that means is no desal.
The no desal group has been fighting against the city's strategy of looking into desalination as a future source of water. This comes long after other fights against the city developing new storage facilities. The focus here seemes to be on sharply limiting water supplies -- and therefore sharply limiting any new development.
That means a battle as old as modern-day Santa Cruz politics -- limiting growth by limiting services.
Opponents of desal have already made up their mind to oppose any desalination. They want to put a stop to even studying the issue.
Yet, in an op-ed piece in Sunday's Sentinel by Desal Alternatives leader Rick Longinotti, he quotes a J.M. Keynes saying "When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?"
Well, what I do is make sure all the facts are in. And if it's too soon to know whether desal is a good idea, it's also too soon to know if it's a bad one.